Sail Sail, n. [OE. seil, AS. segel, segl; akin to D. zeil, OHG. segal, G. & Sw. segel, Icel. segl, Dan. seil. [root] 153.] 1. An extent of canvas or other fabric by means of which the wind is made serviceable as a power for propelling vessels through the water. [1913 Webster]

Behoves him now both sail and oar. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Anything resembling a sail, or regarded as a sail. [1913 Webster]

3. A wing; a van. [Poetic] [1913 Webster]

Like an eagle soaring To weather his broad sails. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

4. The extended surface of the arm of a windmill. [1913 Webster]

5. A sailing vessel; a vessel of any kind; a craft. [1913 Webster]

Note: In this sense, the plural has usually the same form as the singular; as, twenty sail were in sight. [1913 Webster]

6. A passage by a sailing vessel; a journey or excursion upon the water. [1913 Webster]

Note: Sails are of two general kinds, {fore-and-aft sails}, and {square sails}. Square sails are always bent to yards, with their foot lying across the line of the vessel. Fore-and-aft sails are set upon stays or gaffs with their foot in line with the keel. A fore-and-aft sail is triangular, or quadrilateral with the after leech longer than the fore leech. Square sails are quadrilateral, but not necessarily square. See Phrases under {Fore}, a., and {Square}, a.; also, {Bark}, {Brig}, {Schooner}, {Ship}, {Stay}. [1913 Webster]

{Sail burton} (Naut.), a purchase for hoisting sails aloft for bending.

{Sail fluke} (Zo["o]l.), the whiff.

{Sail hook}, a small hook used in making sails, to hold the seams square.

{Sail loft}, a loft or room where sails are cut out and made.

{Sail room} (Naut.), a room in a vessel where sails are stowed when not in use.

{Sail yard} (Naut.), the yard or spar on which a sail is extended.

{Shoulder-of-mutton sail} (Naut.), a triangular sail of peculiar form. It is chiefly used to set on a boat's mast.

{To crowd sail}. (Naut.) See under {Crowd}.

{To loose sails} (Naut.), to unfurl or spread sails.

{To make sail} (Naut.), to extend an additional quantity of sail.

{To set a sail} (Naut.), to extend or spread a sail to the wind.

{To set sail} (Naut.), to unfurl or spread the sails; hence, to begin a voyage.

{To shorten sail} (Naut.), to reduce the extent of sail, or take in a part.

{To strike sail} (Naut.), to lower the sails suddenly, as in saluting, or in sudden gusts of wind; hence, to acknowledge inferiority; to abate pretension.

{Under sail}, having the sails spread. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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